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Royal Caribbean waivers $25 fee for unreturned towels

Posted by RCI fans on January 1, 2014 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (1)

As a result of guests feedback and Royal Caribbean wanting to offer guests "greater convenience" Royal Caribbean has waivered there $25 fee for unreturned towels.




From today, January 1st 2014, there will be no fee for unreturned towels. Previously, you could rent towels from the pool deck but would be charged $25 per towel if you did not return it before the end of your cruise.


Royal Caribbean released a statement about their decision. "We think this policy adjustment will offer guests greater convenience and help them enjoy their Royal Caribbean vacation even more. We’re constantly evaluating our policies and implementing feedback. This is just one of many ongoing changes and improvements we’ve made to ensure Royal Caribbean International is giving guests the Royal Advantage - the most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to popular destinations, and world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service."

Former RCCL Song of Norway to be scrapped

Posted by RCI fans on November 19, 2013 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Royal Caribbean's first cruise ship, the Song of Norway is to be sold as scrap, according to Maritime Matters.



Image: Brian Fisher


The founding vessel, was built in 1970 and was a popular ship within the cruise industry. She was the pioneer of modern era cruising.


The vessel originally had a gross tonnage of 18,000 tons, and could carry 724 passengers. Following a mammoth refit in 1978, she was lengthened by 85 feet, to provide capacity for 1,024 passengers. This increased her size to 23,000 gross tons.


Song of Norway operated seven and fourteen-day cruises out of Miami, Florida.


The Song of Norway was retired from the Royal Caribbean fleet in 1996 and has since been in the hands of many different cruise lines, each giving her a different name. She currently is called Ocean Pearl and has been berthed in China since 2011.


She will be sent to the breakers yard in 2014 and will become the first Royal Caribbean cruise ship ever to be scrapped. 

Royal Caribbean bans smoking on balconies

Posted by RCI fans on September 5, 2013 at 5:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Royal Caribbean is the latest cruise line to enforce a new policy banning guests to smoke on their balconies.






The policy which will come into operation on January 1st 2014, follows a recent surge of cruise lines, such as Disney, Cunard and P&O, changing their attitudes about guests smoking on their balcony.


Royal Caribbean will ban smoking on all balconies across their fleet explaining the policy change was "to provide a comfortable cruise for everyone."


Any guest found violating the new ban will be subject to a $250 cleaning fee applied to their SeaPass account.


Smoking on board is also banned in all public areas except for Casino Royale. Royal Caribbean says "Cigarette, cigar, e-cigarette and pipe smoking is permitted in designated outdoor areas of the starboard side of all ships, with the exception of Oasis class ships, that will allow smoking on the port side of the ships."


Coke Freestyle Machines are a hit with passengers

Posted by RCI fans on September 6, 2012 at 12:55 PM Comments comments (0)

The new all-you-can-drink soda machines that Royal Caribbean has been rolling out on ships in recent months are proving a major hit with passengers.


 

"We ran out of product on the first voyage," Royal Caribbean director of fleet beverage operations Bob Midyette told USA TODAY. "It was more popular than even what we thought it would be."


 

The specially-designed soda machines are a modified version of the Coca-Cola Freestyle dispensers that Coca-Cola began unveiling in 2009, which are capable of offering 125 flavors of various Coke products using medical micro-dosing technology and flavor cartridges. Royal Caribbean is the first cruise line to debut the machines, which can produce everything from raspberry-flavored Coca-Cola to peach-flavored Fanta Zero.


 

"It is in my mind the next evolution of non-alcoholic beverage service, a leap forward to what you could offer through the traditional system," Midyette says.


 

Midyette notes it's faster for passengers to grab a soda from the machines than to order one from a bartender, and passengers love the variety of sodas available from the machines, including more than five dozen sugar-free beverage options and drinks without caffeine or carbonation.

 


"Customization is the key thing," he says. "You can make an orange Coke if you want."


 

Royal Caribbean is charging $6.50 per adult per day for a soda package that includes access to the machines -- the same amount as Royal Caribbean soda packages cost in the past (children pay $4.50 per day for a package). But Midyette says that the line is selling more packages on ships with the machines.


 

Royal Caribbean worked with Coca-Cola for three years to make modifications to the machines so they comply with marine environment health codes and interact with special souvenir soda cups that passengers get when buying all-you-can-drink soda packages on ships. The cups contain a Radio Frequency Identification device that lets passengers serve themselves at the machines.


 

Midyette says passengers must place their cups at the bottom of the machine's dispensing area, away from the liquid dispenser, for it to work, eliminating the possibility of cross-contamination when refilling cups.


 

The cups also have a built-in "time out" period so they can't be refilled repeatedly in short periods of time, a feature designed to discourage multiple people from sharing a cup. "We recognize that you're probably not going to drink 20 ounces of Coke product in less than a minute," Midyette says.


 

Some Royal Caribbean regulars have predicted that the new system could lead to "cup theft" on ships, but so far Midyette says there haven't been reports of stolen cups. "You kind of protect your cup," he notes.


 

The new machines already are on the line's Majesty of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas and will continue to roll out to more ships at the rate of about one or two a month.

4 Royal Caribbean ships get perfect score in CDC Inspection

Posted by RCI fans on July 11, 2012 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Oasis of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas recently had their CDC Inspection in the last quarter year.


The Centers for Disease Control conducts surprise health inspections to monitor that cruise ships are safe and clean for cruise ship passengers. All 4 of the Royal Caribbean ships that were recently inspected scored a perfect 100 on their test this year.

 

This is the third perfect score in a row for Oasis of the Seas while the other ships have also had perfect scores in the past.

 

Only a small fraction of the dozens of cruise ships inspected each quarter receive a perfect score. Last year, Monarch of the Seas failed her inspection (read here) after flies, soiled plates and missing safety signs were spotted.


The Inspection Report for each of the ships can be found here;

Jewel of the Seas

Mariner of the Seas

Oasis of the Seas

Serenade of the Seas

Independence of the Seas to get the Royal Advantage

Posted by RCI fans on June 15, 2012 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Independence of the Seas will be getting the 'Royal Advantage' says Royal Caribbean.

 


The work on Independence of the Seas will be "a less extensive upgrade" compared to the work we have seen on the Vision class ships and Radiance of the Seas. The upgrade is currently due to take place in March 2013.

 

The Royal Advantage upgrades began in May 2011 with the revitalization of Radiance of the Seas. After the Radiance of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas followed in November 2011. Royal Caribbean continued with their plan this year with improvements to Rhapsody of the Seas in March, and Grandeur of the Seas. Work on Serenade of the Seas is scheduled for November and by 2013, the Vision Class ships will begin, starting with Legend of the Seas in January. She will be followed by Vision of the Seas in March, Brilliance of the Seas in May, and Navigator of the Seas in November.

 

By 2014 the remaining ships will be the Voyager class. Adventure of the Seas, in January, the Voyager of the Seas in April, and the Explorer of the Seas in November.

Royal Caribbean release 2013-14 winter Caribbean cruises

Posted by RCI fans on May 14, 2012 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Royal Caribbean have announced the schedules for the 2013-14 winter Caribbean cruise itineraries and are now available to book.


Royal Caribbean plans to have Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas in the Caribbean. This will bring a total of 140 sailings across 31 itineraries that will make stops at 20 different ports.


New to the schedule will be cruises out of New Orleans, Lousiana aboard Serenade of the Seas. The first cruise will be a 9-night Caribbean cruise on December 12, 2013 that will stop at Key West, Nassau, Labadee & Ocho Rios. Following that cruise, Serenade will alternate between 7-night cruises to the Bahamas and Western Caribbean.

 

Oasis and Allure of the Seas will continue with their popular 7-night western and eastern Caribbean cruises out of Port Everglades, Florida.


Also home porting in Port Everglades in the winter will be Independence of the Seas. She will offer 6-night cruises to the western and eastern Caribbean.


Freedom of the Seas will continue to operate out of Port Canaveral, Florida and alternate between 7-night eastern and western sailings.


Finally, Navigator of the Seas will debut in Galveston, Texas with two western Caribbean cruises. Both are 7-night sailings and one itinerary calling at Falmouth, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, while the other at Roatan (Honduras), Belize City (Belize) and Cozumel.

Royal Caribbean announces Australia & New Zealand 2013-2014 itineraries

Posted by RCI fans on April 19, 2012 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Over the past few years, Royal Caribbean have been sending larger ships to serve the Australia and New Zealand region and they have been leading the way for other cruise lines to follow. The 2013-2014 season will see the broadest range of itineraries ever offered in Australia and New Zealand.

 

Voyager of the Seas will offer 53 itineraries along with the recently revitalized Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas. In total, Royal Caribbean will offer 55 cruises at 56 Australian, New Zealand and South Pacific ports, with departures from September 2013 to April 2014.

 

Voyager of the Seas will reposition from Singapore to Sydney on a 14-night cruise in late October 2013 that begins with an overnight in Singapore and calls at Port Keland for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Darwin and Brisbane, Australia. The ship then homeports at Sydney for nine sailings to New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia. 

 

A nine-night Tasmania cruise in early February 2014 features an overnight at Hobart on a one-time-only itinerary. At the end of the season, Voyager of the Seas will sail an 18-night Australia and New Zealand itinerary to Perth before returning to the Far East on a 14-night sailing in late March to Singapore via Bangkok.

 

Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas also homeport at Sydney from October 2013 to early May 2014, and will operate a wide variety of itineraries ranging from seven to 15 nights.

 

The cruises visit Australia’s Tasmania and Queensland, New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia. Radiance of the Seas will circumnavigate Australia twice with a 16-night north coast and a 17-night south coast and New Zealand itinerary.

Royal Caribbean commercial manager for Australia, Adam Armstrong, commented on the news, "It’s with great pleasure that we can confirm that sister ships, Voyager of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas, will be back to wow Australian cruisers in summer 2013-14. For the next two summer cruise seasons, Royal Caribbean International will be the largest cruise line operating out of Sydney, and these newly revitalised “premierships” will offer the very latest in cruising – experiences guests previously had to travel to other parts of the world to have."

 

“We’ve added more cruises on Australia’s first megaliner Voyager of the Seas and some new itineraries across the entire fleet to ensure that there are even more options to suit different lifestyles and needs. It’s our widest ever range of cruises Down Under."


Royal Caribbean wins rights to show Euro 2012 games

Posted by RCI fans on April 17, 2012 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Royal Caribbean has secured the rights to show the European Football Championships on board its ships this summer.

 

All 31 football matches will be shown between June 8 and July 1live on Royal Caribbean ships that are sailing in Europe, including its sister brand, Celebrity Cruises.

 

Passengers will be able to watch the games in select bars around the ship or on the TVs in staterooms.

 

Royal Caribbean vice president and EMEA managing director Dominic Paul commented, “Being able to show the games live is brilliant news for our guests, many of whom we know are passionate football fans. Often, holidaymakers are put off from going away when the big tournaments are on as they don’t want to miss the action – this way they can enjoy a fantastic cruise and, hopefully, cheer their team to victory.”

 

Ships that will show the games include;

Adventure of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas and Vision of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean announces three ships for Europe in 2013

Posted by RCI fans on April 5, 2012 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Royal Caribbean has announced that they will be deploying Liberty of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas, among other ships, to Europe for the 2013 season.


 

Royal Caribbean had previously announced Independence of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas were being deployed to Southampton, the first time ever two Royal Caribbean ships have been based there. Now there are more ships that will be sent that way too. Royal Caribbean plans to have these five ships ready for bookings with additional deployments in the region that will be announced later this month.


At this time, it is believed that Jewel of the Seas will be making Harwich its home port once again for cruises departing in the summer to the Baltics and Norway.


 

Royal Caribbean vice president Dominic Paul commented on the plans, "Royal Caribbean International is the perfect choice for couples and families to experience and share all the wonders, flavours and colours of Europe. Liberty of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, and Serenade of the Seas already offer holidaymakers so many things that other operators do not, such as the DreamWorks Experience onboard Liberty of the Seas, or a real ice-skating rink featuring breath-taking shows onboard Navigator of the Seas and even self-levelling pool tables onboard Serenade of the Seas."